the fear of becoming irrelevant
As I sit here in bed sipping my morning coffee, I can't help but think about last night.
Last night I had a bit of a moment (ok, panic attack) where I was worrying about what I was going to do with my life. Whoa. Strange I know, but this thought passes through my mind at least once a week. Sometimes twice a week, depending on how I feel. But yesterday was just a 'slow' day, which opened up the can 'o worms. My mind started buzzing, and thinking, and pondering, and questioning, and doubting and worrying and freaking out. You name it, I thought it. How exhausting it was.
This Tuesday May 17, will be three days before my 39th birthday but exactly three months since I arrived in Grande Prairie (and THANK GOD, its also the day we leave for a much needed California vacay to our family spot in Palm Springs). But it doesn't feel like three months, it feels like twelve. I can't help but wonder where the time has gone and why it feels like much longer than it actually is. Plus, with a significant birthday looming, I start to question everything. What will be my next gig in life? Will I ever be a mom? How much time do I have left to be a mom? How long will we be living in Grande Prairie? Will I ever find a great job again...in Grande Prairie? Will I be out of work so long that I become irrelevant?
Irrelevance and my work for me right now go hand in hand. That could be my ego creeping in, but I like to think of it more as losing my ability to do what I love. Having this little (semi-permanent) 'vacay' or 'blip in the radar' turn into something much longer than I ever expected is a HUGE fear of mine. The fear of not working for so long, that you lose your skills, you fall behind and you become irrelevant. I've NEVER been in this position before and whoa, is it ever scary. Especially for us over achiever, Type A personality folk who can't sit still. And you know what? I'm not a mother, but I know this is often a fear of most new moms when they go on maternity leave, then ponder whether or not they should return to their job or be a full time stay at home mom. If they don't go back, do they worry about becoming irrelevant? It FREAKS ME OUT....and I'm not a mom yet. Eek.
See, I work well with end points. Goals. Dates that signify the start or end of things. I also work well with structure, and I know this is what I'm struggling with the most. I have lost the 'structure' to my days. Being a professional who works in an office, you have lots of structure. I have a love/hate relationship with it as well. You wake up at the same time in the morning, exercise, get a shower, eat breakfast, go to work, work all day, go home at a certain hour, eat dinner. Sleep & repeat. My days are not quite like that and although I do realize its only been 3 months, it might as well be three years to me because that's. What. It. Feels. Like.
Hello? Is anyone out there? Are you listening? I'm a person ready to WORK!
So last night. Nate came home, I made an amazing dinner and then I started to bring up my fears and told him about the day I had. Again. I was in a slump, missing my friends, my Vancouver life, my career, my everything, but fearful of not finding that next big thing - that job. He's heard it before but bless his heart, he always listens and sympathizes with me. He is ALWAYS there to encourage me, be my cheerleader, motivate me and know that whatever I end up doing, that I will crush it. If there is one thing I am eternally grateful for, its his ability to love me no matter what, never judging me and always listening to me vent (often, too). I love that we have this amazing knack to communicate often and well. I think that is what an almost 3 year long distance relationship will do to you: make your communication skills solid.
I know in the long term, I'm going to be just fine. I know I'm not the only one to go through this and I know I will find my way. My path in life, whatever that may be. But these scary moments are equally important to me. The growth and uneasiness I am experiencing - they serve as a bit of a reality check, which is humbling to the soul and the ego.
I need to make a vision so clear that my fears become irrelevant, not the other way around. I need to remind myself that I can't have everything at the same time. Life doesn't work that way, unfortunately.
Whew, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for letting me vent and hearing me out.